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Accused Scareware Operators to Pay $8.2 Million to FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finalized a deal worth $8.2 Million with the operator of a famous scareware operation, thus bringing end to a two year old case, as reported by eweek on January 27, 2011.

As per the FTC, Maurice D'Souza and his son, Marc D'Souza, will pay the amount to settle charges that they profited from a plan to fraud customers with promises of fake security software. Marc D'Souza was highlighted as the main scammer in the operation by the FTC, whereas his father was not directly involved, however, FTC thinks that he has also been benefitted from the scheme.

According to the agency, the father-son duo did business under several company names and had offices in various nations. Some of the prominent companies include: Innovative Marketing and ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC. As per the FTC, the duo made use of online advertisements to provide customers a computer scan. The scan, on installation would turn into malware on the customer's machine and will request them to buy fake anti-virus software worth $40 to $60 to repair the system.

Further, the FTC claims that the scareware circulated through malware ridden advertisements included the notorious "Antivirus XP," "Winfixer" or "Drive Cleaner," which infected numerous people.

Besides paying for the settlement money, Maurice D'Souza will be banned from getting engaged with software that interferes with people's systems, making false claims in association with security programs, utilizing domain names with fake registration details and lying regarding being authorized.

Interestingly, others involved in the same case select to settle with the FTC so far, James Reno and his company Bytehosting Internet Services. Default judgments went against three others, Innovative Marketing and its officials Sam Jain and Daniel Sundin. However, lawful action still continues against one more accused in the complete scareware scam case, namely, Kristy Ross.

Finally, the above mentioned case is just the recent in attempts by both the Government and the IT industry to stop scareware attacks, which otherwise are continuously increasing. During the concluding week of January 2011, "Kaspersky", notified of a scareware scam, whose operators succeeded in propelling the maladvertisements onto the ICQ network (a quick messaging tool) by pretending as a famous retail chain.

Related article: August Finds New Additions to Malware

» SPAMfighter News - 2/4/2011

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